WASHINGTON — On December 11, St. Mary Church in Washington, DC, celebrated the 90th anniversary of its establishment.
Some 240 parishioners and friends gathered in historic Heritage Hall of the Catholic University of America (CUA), to rejoice in the past and embrace the future with a renewed vision.
During the program, longtime St. Mary community members were honored for their contributions and impact on generations of Armenians. Honorees included Clara Andonian; Ed and Roseann Alexander; Sahag and Betty Dedeian; Paul Ignatius; Meline Kaehn; Yn. Anahid Kalayjian; Gloria Kassabian; Casey and Bella Kazanjian; Gloria Kazanjian; Helen Krikorian; Verjin Sahakian and Zakar Shahverdian.
Mistress of Ceremonies Mariam Khaloyan introduced keynote speaker Sarah Ignatius, recently retired executive director of the National Association for Armenian Studies and Research (NAASR), whose speech emphasized the historic role of the Armenian Church.
Sarah Ignatius concluded: “St. Mary Armenian Church plays a vital role in filling that space in our hearts when we search for meaning, hope, spiritual direction, continuity with our lost homeland; fidelity to our traditions; and communion with our ancestors, family, and friends…. Enduring faith has helped to keep Armenian people together in hard times and good times, and has brought us together here tonight.”
The program also included a beautiful performance of traditional Armenian songs, by the a Capella trio Zulal.